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Madame Chiang Kai-Shek of China Addressed the House of Representatives

February 18, 1943
Madame Chiang Kai-Shek of China Addressed the House of Representatives Image courtesy of Library of Congress. As a goodwill ambassador for China, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek's tour of the United States included a House reception.
On this date, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek of China (wife of the Nationalist political and military leader Chiang Kai-Shek) addressed the House of Representatives. In her speech, she applauded American efforts in the Pacific theater. She also recounted the friendship between the U.S. and China: “We in China, like you, want a better world, not for ourselves alone, but for all mankind, and we must have it.” Chiang’s visit also was meant to convey appreciation for the American Lend-Lease program, which supplied war materials to sustain the Chinese resistance effort. Madame Chiang holds the distinction of being the only female dignitary to address a House Reception—a common practice in the early part of the 20th century when foreign leaders addressed the House separately from the Senate. The practice tapered off in the latter half of the century, and 1977 marked the last foreign leader invited to a House Reception.

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